Offensive line transfer could help Virginia right away

Virginia’s football program got a potentially substantial lift in the early days of spring this year, as Owings Mill, Maryland, offensive lineman Jared Cohen made the decision to become a Cavalier.

A former 4-star recruit out of suburban Baltimore private institution McDonogh School, Cohen was a two-time all-state and all-conference selection during his prep days. He was named first-team All-Metro by the Baltimore Sun.

Cohen picked North Carolina in the final days of the 2013-14 recruiting cycle after being previously committed to Maryland. The Tar Heel coaches, led by offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic, made an aggressive late push for the Maryland standout and earned his letter of intent.

He arrived in Chapel Hill and was pushed into immediate action as a true freshman after an injury to starting left guard Caleb Peterson. Cohen made two starts and appeared in 13 games in the fall of 2014 for the Tar Heels.

Mysteriously, however, Cohen didn’t show up for training camp in Chapel Hill for his sophomore year and wound up not re-enrolling at UNC. He sat out last season entirely, and in late October, was granted a release from his scholarship with the Tar Heels.

“My first year at the school was a great experience on and off the field, and (I) have made lifetime friendships and memories in that short time,” Cohen said on Twitter at the time of his release from UNC. “However, I felt like the school and myself didn’t fit together for various reasons. This led to me not deciding to return for the 2015 season.”

Cohen began taking official visits this spring, and he made his way to Charlottesville for an official visit over Easter weekend. Cohen also gave serious consideration to another ACC school, Louisville, before choosing UVa. He wound up taking a pair of trips to Louisville, including an official visit in late February and an unofficial trip just prior to his visit to UVa. But it appears that Virginia not only provides a chance for immediate playing time for Cohen, but also an opportunity to be a little bit closer to home.

The addition of Cohen will benefit UVa because…